Saturday, February 21, 2009

Read an eBook Week

How many of us know that it’s ‘Read an eBook Week’ March 8th to 14th? We didn’t know about it until we were altered to the site, which is very informative, especially if you are interested in finding more about ereader devices.

So are we going to see even more digital noise, claims and hype before the week? How do we generate interest? The market needs some clear substance and the most obvious booktrade response will be to give away loads of free books, or heavily discounted ones. Will this do the trick – we doubt it, as it only goes to cement the perception that digital should be free full stop. The DRM barriers have to remain up, as lowering these only will fuel the inevitable DRM free agenda. Even giving free rentals for one week only is likely to raise more questions than it answers and obviously will not help authors’ revenues.

We believe that the big issues and inhibiting factors today are; the of lack of content, high entry price of ebook devices and too much noise on digital format and devices. We need to find a new way of communicating and presenting and ultimately converting readers new and old. Some of the voices and messages now sound like the needle’s stuck. it’s the same old record, the same old singers and we see ourselves as being not immune from this charge.

We agree that people need to experience digital reading to be converted to it, but do we honestly believe that we have that experience box ticked on consistently across all interfaces?

We still have issue of fortress Amazon with its ‘Amazon only’ Kindle. We also now have the real contenders starting to appear on the mobile platform.

We also seem to be forever grappling with wars on devices, which frankly all are very similar, wars over formats, promoting epub and eink and eanother when all the consumer wants is to read. We support epub as a potential part of the answer, but promoting something that clearly doesn’t have the volume, nor the spread today, only confuses consumers and surprise surprise its those people who we need to communicate with.

So what would we suggest happens on ebook week? We suggest a good PR company.

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